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The Stranger

The Stranger


by Albert Camus

The Stranger Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Matthew Ward's translation, published by Vintage International published in 1989.

Quote #10

"I’m not drunk, officer. It’s just that I’m here, and you’re there, and I’m shaking. I can’t help it." (1.4.4)

Raymond’s explanation appeals to the notion that sometimes behaviors just are—they exist without rationality.

Quote #11

He told me that I’d have to act as a witness for him. It didn’t matter to me, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. According to Raymond, all I had to do was to state that the girl had cheated on him. I agreed to act as a witness for him. (1.4.5)

Meursault is basically amoral; he doesn’t seem to have any issues testifying to the "character" of a completely questionable dude. If there’s "no good reason not to," you could get Meursault to do anything.

Quote #12

I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn’t dissatisfied with mine here at all. (1.5.3)

Meursault’s response to his boss’s offer of a position in Paris betrays his belief that a certain hopelessness surrounds change and human existence. His comment also implies that each person’s life is essentially equal to everyone else’s, and that there is no sense in changing your own life. This is super-important; Meursault comes back to this notion of omni-equality at the end of the novel, at which point he declares the reason for it (namely, that everyone will die, just the same). Think of this as a half-way point for his transformation.

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